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“Carry Forth The Great Gift Of Freedom” … President Obama

  • January 21st, 2009
  • Posted by Daniel Challis

Barack Obama has been sworn in as America’s 44th president – and its first African-American leader.

In his inaugural address before a crowd of one-million in Washington, (20.1.09), the new President pledged a “new era of responsibility” in a time of economic turmoil, and closed with his invocation – pass on “the great gift of freedom” to the children …


Acknowledging crisis for the United States at home and abroad, Barack Obama said the nation was at war and its economy weakened.

“Today I say to you the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short space of time.

“But know this, America; they will be met.”

The patriotic sentiment has so often become a characteristic of his political speeches of the last two year’s ascent to the Presidency.

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The inauguration speech dwelt on fundamental and enduring values inherent in every person; “hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism”; ending, fittingly: “God bless you all and God bless the United States of America”.

Among millions watching around the world, thousands in the Obama ancestral village of Kogelo, in Kenya, celebrated under a banner reading “Congratulations our son, our hope”.


European leaders welcomed the new President as part of new, and more multilateralist era.

The French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday (20.01.09) he wanted Obama to move quickly into office so he could join forces with him to “change the world”.

“We are eager to see him go to work so that we can change the world with him,” Sarkozy said.

The European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he looked forward to working with the new president, “to promote a politics of global engagement that will support international institutions reformed to address effectively our global responsibilities, from climate change to development aid, to trade, democracy and human rights, and sound financial systems.”

Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent messages from Britain also in support of Obama.

Mr Brown said at Downing Street the whole world was witnessing a new chapter in both American history and the world’s history:-

“He is a man of great vision, he is a man of great determination and energy, and he is a man of great moral purpose.”
In a congratulatory message the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi spoke of “the importance of working together immediately to confront the current challenges”, pledging close cooperation on the financial crisis and conflict in both Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Pope Benedict XVI’s congratulatory telegram said he “willingly invoked the Lord’s blessing of joy and peace” upon President Obama, his family and the American people.

“I offer cordial good wishes, together with the assurance of my prayers that the Almighty God will grant you unfailing wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high responsibilities,” the Pope said.


The Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, predicted that Pressident Obama would be a strong friend and ally “to face challenges together”.

“Barack Obama truly is the hope of our time”, he said.

America’s Lance Armstrong, multiple victor in the Tour de France, riding in this year’s “Tour Down Under”, listed the Obama commitments on social justice, from health care reforms to aid initiatives across the world:

“There is no doubt he’s on the team”, said Lance Armstrong, astride his bike in Adelaide.


Barack Obama and Joe Biden official website, ‘President Obama’s Inaugural Address’ (20.01.09),, (21.01.09).

BBC News, ‘Obama vows to meet US challenges’ (21.01.09),, (21.01.09).

M & C, ‘World leaders greet Obama with hope, caution’ (20.01.09),, (21.01.09).

Official site of the Prime Minister Gordon Browns office, ‘PM hails Obama Inauguration’ (20.01.09),, (21.01.09).

Zenit: The World Seen From Rome, ‘Pope to Obama: Rediscover US Spiritual Heritage – Sends Telegram to New President’ (20.01.09),, (21.01.09).